UPDATE: See Among Other Things

Part of me wants to write a memoir. For my sons. And my sins, if that’d help. That is, maybe also for me. In part, because I think we all have one in us. Probably more. And they are worth sharing.

But where would the details and coherence of memories come from? How would I splice this moment to that one? And so on. Crossing the gaps hazed out by time. Not to mention the distortions brought on by a life’s resentments and shame? And not to mention by the excesses that have muddied the brain? Say, alcohol. And such. 

It’s said we’re unreliable narrators of our stories. I believe it. It’s a con to believe our own thoughts. Maybe the greatest con of all. 

As loathe as I am to read, let alone write, a cliché line such as, “Webster’s dictionary defines memoir as … ,” I do enjoy the humor of this line in the Wikipedia entry:  A memoir is any nonfiction narrative writing based on the author’s personal memories. The assertions made in the work are thus understood to be factual.

“… are thus understood to be factual.” Fantastic.

Yet this I also know. I have a history of conjuring creative project ideas. Lists of them scratched out on torn scraps of paper stacked here and there. Tucked for later. Or for never. Many of the ideas fizzle before they’ve yet had time to breathe. Sometimes in as little as two or three weeks. Or before they’re even begun. 

Though, in fairness, I’ve got too many ideas to leap into them all anyway. I suspect the same is the way of many creators. Truth be told, or “thus understood to be factual,” I enjoy following sparks of ideas into rabbit holes, and to dead or loose ends. Often the creativity in passionately, if ultimately fruitlessly, flowing with a new artful concept is a joy in itself. Means & ends.

But I digress.

I suppose the answer to writing a memoir, as with any process, is to begin. Then keep going. Such is life itself. Digressions, loose ends and all.

See Among Other Things

The AI-generated image above was created using DreamStudio, with this prompt: “middle aged bald man with big beard writing a memoir in a cabin in the mountains”